The fed gov under Obama is all about tax tax tax. That is the way all socialist
countries work... tax tax tax and then let the gov decide where they want to
distribute the wealth. That is NOT America but it is Obama. Elder Oaks is
rightly concerned with the possible change to charitable contributions and
perhaps not being able to deduct those contributions on your tax return.Many
people in the LDS church will continue to pay tithing regardless but there will
be many who will not pay tithing if they can't deduct that contribution on the
their taxes which will greatly impact the Church and its ability to build and
Sorry Elder Oaks, but I'll have to disagree with your position on this matter.
And if you are saying that paying tithing partially occurs because someone
receives a charitable donation for it, then I guess you are saying that the
reasons we are taught in church to pay tithing aren't the real reasons here? I
have been a member of the LDS church all my life and I do not believe that real
charity involves a mindset of being able to get a tax donation. I have NEVER
deducted one cent of tithing or any other charitable donation on my income
taxes. You see, somehow I don't think it is fair that the government (meaning
all the rest of the population in this country) should have to give me back one
third of the tithing that I pay to my church. I think that is WRONG and I fully
support eliminating all deduction for charitable donations. If that changes an
individual's decision to give, so be it. It won't change my decision to give.
Some people learn what true charity is; others don't. Its time people step up
to the plate and give without any expectation of receiving anything back.
re: KamiPerhaps you missed the part about this extending well beyond
To patriot: Wow, I think you just shucked the corn and got to the kernel. If
they don't get a tax break, they won't pay their tithing? Well maybe that's
just something they should take up with the Lord. Tax, tax, tax, that's Obama's
way. If you would look, you'd find our personal tax rates are now at their
lowest point since 1950, so stop this moaning and groaning about taxes. It's
become a crutch for those too lazy to do some research on their own. Secondly,
the Republican manifesto says we should "pay our own way." Why do you
think the gentiles want to subsidize with their taxes, our tithing and fast
offerings? Isn't that what the teaparty people think, unless of course it's
going to take money out of thine own pocket. You can't have things both ways.
You pay tithing because you're asked to do so by the Lord, not because you might
get a tax break for doing it. Where are your priorities? Or is it, "where
your money lies, there also lies thy heart?
While it's true that Democrats like to tax tax tax, let's not forget that it's
the Republicans in congress, led by Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor, who want to do
away with the charitable donation deduction - although they might allow it to
remain for those with incomes above $5 million, because, after all, those are
the people who make the largest charitable donations. Besides, if you let the
rabble deduct charitable donations, they might donate to things that Republicans
Although I doubt too many folks will stop paying tithing if the Federal
government takes away that deduction, it will have a negative effect on other
types of donations, in the church to some degree but far more outside the
church.There are many people who want to give, but do count on a tax
break in order to be able to afford it.Closer to home, losing that
deduction means I would have less to spend to support my family, meaning cuts in
my budget across the board. There isn't much left to cut these days, and what I
don't spend stops going to local businesses.
People who donate to charitable causes should not be doing so because they get a
tax break for it. This is one loophole that needs to be closed. You donate out
of the goodness of your heart and a genuine desire to help others, if you do it
for the tax break that's the wrong reason and organizations would probably be
better off without your money.
GiuseppeGI'm with Kami. It does not make any difference whether it
is for religious tithes or GIVING to the Boy Scouts or the cancer Institute. It
is suppose to be done without wanting anything back in return. Isn't this what
Americans are like? Why do we need something in return?
Ending this deduction would effectively end most charitable giving in the US.
This is yet another example of Obama and company forgetting about the truly poor
of our country, those that are helped by charitable and non-profit
organizations. This has nothing to do with LDS continuance to pay tithing,
we'll do that regardless of tax deduction, but the total amounts given to
charity by non-LDS people have to just be staggering; to lose that large amount
of giving would escalate pressures on welfare programs to supplement the loss.
This is a terrible idea and obviously hasn't been thoroughly examined. Obama is
not treading water very well at this point.
Kami and others,What do you believe the purpose of government is, if
not to encourage the behavior that is seen by the majority of its citizens as
beneficial to society? Can I assume that if you're against the government
encouraging people to act charitably, you are similarly against the government
encouraging people and companies to act responsibly towards the planet with its
EPA regulations or encouraging Wall Street investors to act responsibly with
@Kami 10:13Regardless of whether you deduct your tithing from your
taxes or not, the fact of the matter is, you still get something back when you
pay your tithing. Every Sunday, you get to attend church in a comfortable,
air-conditioned building. Every time you attend the temple, you get to perform
work in a well built, inspiring structure. Every time you read a church magazine
or visit a church website or send a child off to a seminary or Institute class,
you're getting something back from tithing.The fact of the matter
is, tax deductions are no different. There are many people who are on very fixed
incomes and to strip away the opportunity for them to benefit from their
charitable giving would be the same as taking away church buildings or other
church structures because the church should only spend its money on the poorest
of the poor. @DeltaFoxtrot 10:32Should we also
eliminate per child tax credits? Should we eliminate tax breaks for new
businesses? Should we eliminate every tax deduction there is or just the ones
that don't negatively effect you?
I think what Oaks is bringing out is that the support to those in need in our
country will be significantly reduced if the charitiable deduction is reduced or
eliminated. I don't think he's so much worried about the LDS or any other
church having their income reduced as much as the help given to those in need
being reduced. Back a few weeks ago when the FEMA funding was on the line over
the then-latest example of government gridlock it was suggested by some that
disaster aid should be given by the government even if it meant borrowing. Of
course there were objections, loud and long. Now we're hearing voices say we
should reduce the ability of the private sector to render aid? That's nuts.
Let's not make it harder to help others, okay? It's already a sacrifice, let's
not make it more so if we can help it.
@Johnny Triumph, I'm curious as to why you apparently think that LDS are the
only people on the block who would continue to give if they could no longer
receive a tax deduction. Do you REALLY believe that?
It seems to me that most people are forgetting that up until 1913 there wasn't a
personal income tax code in the United States. Taxes were charged on imports in
the form of tariffs, and alcoholic beverages were taxed as well. In fact, when
this country was formed there was no federal tax on the citizens as well, but
citizens were encouraged to donate to the government. My how things have
changed."It is the duty of every citizen of these Thirteen
Colonies to pay the absolute least amount of taxes possible!" Benjamin
Lane and Kami, you need to look at things in a much greater perspective than
just religious donations. For the most part non-profits do a MUCH better job
then government in helping people/organizations in need. Plus outside the LDS
church , believe me there are a lot of folks that would cut back on their
donations if they were taxed by the government, probably even some LDS as well.
Again unintended consequences from new laws usually have a very negative effect
on our freedom and our ability to help those we CHOOSE to help. I would rather
have make that decision versus the bureaucrats.
Incorporated organized religion is one of the world's biggest business and they
should be taxed the same as every other business.
It sounds quite noble to say people should only give to charity "...out of
the the goodness of their heart," but the fact of the matter is, everyone
benefits from non-profit charities whether we realize it or not.Throughout the country, there are non-profit organizations which have built
playgrounds, donated money for libraries, helped injured people with blood
donations, assisted with cancer and other disease research, given grants to drug
addiction and alcoholic treatment facilities, assisted women who have been
victims of domestic violence and helped girls who have suffered from eating
disorders.You may not think you're a direct benefactor from
someone's charitable giving, but I'll bet in one way or another you are and you
would feel it if that work of charity disappeared.
The purpose of the tax break is for the US Govt to allow its citizens to
allocate the money to the charities that they feel are of greatest importance to
them, which I suggest is better since your more emotionally involved in terms of
time and personal involvement with the organizations you directly give money
to.If we eliminate the tax break, all we're really doing in
increasing the tax rate on individuals, and shifting the right and
responsibility of where the tax money goes from our hands to the government.While most I suspect will still pay their tithing, they will then have
less to money to direct toward other worthy causes. In the end, it won't be the
church that loses out as much as other charities those "tax" dollars
United Way has held companies and employees hostage to contribute will be
crushed if the donation deduction is eliminated. To all those that think the LDS
church should not be tax exempt, fine. Then I believe the Church should stop
building seminaries all over Utah. The increase of property tax will skyrocket
as more teachers and class rooms will be needed to provide for the students that
otherwise have been taken care of during that hour. Good luck. Libs may get what
they are looking for and like this administration, it will be disasterous.
Some believe that the government is best able to decide how to distribute money
to those in need, from those who have. They are called "socialists"
or "communists."Others believe that whatever a person
earns by their hard work, or skillful investments, is theirs to do with as they
please. That includes funding churches, abortion clinics, animal shelters, food
kitchens, public TV stations, museums, Boy Scouts or even churches. They have
no obligation to donate to any or all of these, and recipients should be very
grateful for whatever is given to them. This is called "freedom."The "end the tax breaks" crowd fails to realize that if donor
"A" decided to give away $1 million, currently the charity gets $1
million. If no longer tax deductible, and there is a 35% tax rate, then donor
"A" will probably only give $650,000 because the government will be
taking the other $350,000. It is interesting that studies show that
the "liberals" demanding more taxes seem to be significantly less
generous in making charitable contributions than conservatives. Spending other
people's money is easier than spending your own.Keep the deduction!
And, give generously to your choice of charity.
Elder Oaks is probably one of the most brilliant people on the face of the
earth. Please listen and read his writings. The Government is ill equipped to
render aid to those in need. Giving money and goods to the LDS church, Salvation
Army, Boy Scouts of America is worthwhile because their leaders don't skim huge
paychecks for themselves and their decision making process is almost
instantanious. I am sure other religious organizations operate in the same
I didn't realize conservatives loved gov't handouts so much (and that's all
these tax deductions are).
Kami and DeltaFoxTrot- so what you are saying is the Federal Government is more
efficient at administering relief than private non-profits and charities?!
That's laughable. Of course the government is more inefficient because it has to
rely on PAID employees to administer relief/programs while charities by in large
rely on Volunteers! We don't need less charities in this country we need more!
I'm for increasing the deduction because right now if you don't go over the
standard exemption ($11k) you're already in the same boat as everyone else. Part
of the reason they give a tax break for charitable contributions is because it
REDUCES the pressure on the Federal Government to provide those same services!
And you want to talk about fair? Is it fair that certain people receive
food stamps and welfare who don't really need them? Is it fair that government
favors certain special interests (like Solyndra) and gives them guaranteed loans
that they'll never pay back? Is it fair that parents who'll never send their
kids to college subsidize the parents and kids that do? As long as the
government is in charge of doling out the resources, nothing ever will be fair.
To Done That and Others,Actually I think many of you are choosing to
look at this issue with blinders on. By allowing a tax deduction for charitable
giving, every citizen in this country is being FORCED to support the charities
that people are receiving a tax deduction for. That is what is wrong, to me,
about the whole aspect of giving the tax deduction. I don't want to have to
support the charities my neighbor chooses to deduct, not do I want my neighbor
to be forced to support mine. This whole concept of receiving a charitable
deduction is not all that old. People gave before it. People will continue to
give if it were abolished. Apparently some one you have little faith in whether
or not American even have charitable hearts.
Paul in MD mentioned the word "afford". Sadly, that's what it
sometimes comes down to.Many, of all economic levels, want to be
charitable. Obama's way would reduce the ability of some, to put
their hard earned money into programs and causes THEY personally find
important--and instead force it to fund programs and causes and Pres. Obama find
aMEN ATL134 .. but look at how they rationalize. Amazing!
can you spell Katrina?I'm thrilled that the government will handle all
needs of US citizens. They have a stellar record.
To those that feel by paying to these charities shouldn't be taxed. Well lets
take a look at Brad Pitt, Anglie Jolie and many other celebs that pronounce
their contributions in the millions of dollars. One they are able to and second
it gives them a tax deduction. Both of the names mentioned are liberals who
generally will flaunt their money but are generous as well. What do you think
would happen if you take away their tax break? Do you really think they will
continue to give? There are so many different charities for the celebs to give
too. The thing is many give just so they get that tax deduction. Elder Oaks
brings out that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints donated around
13 million dollars to the relief effort of Hurricane Katrina. This doesn't
include the man hours that were done out of generousity to help clean up and
rebuild along the entire Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast. That in and of
itself was another million dollars. Taking that a full membership means that
every member gave 1 million dollars to the relief effort of Hurricane Katrina.
To eliminate the charitable deduction is to eliminate many charities. That will
in turn make the needy more dependent on the nanny state. That's what
socialists want. It will help destroy our nation as we know it.
I'm sure the proposed "complicated formula" will include denying less
politically correct institutions their duly earned tax exempt status. We all
smell a rat in that scheme. Thank you Elder Oaks.
And how many billions did obama usher out the door a couple of weeks ago to his
pet green jobs? I think 7 billion! I do not want to give him any more money
until we know where all the rest of the money went. Did it go to his boundlers,
his re-election committee, his unions, his pet projects, where exactly? If you
look at the amount of donations the dem admin gives - it is a shock, but then a
lot of them don't worry about paying their fair share - right Geitner?If
you anti's will get your head on straight and look at all the good that churches
and organizations do you would see the money is best used in the communities and
not sent to Wasington to take their share!
Considering that not all those members give donations then for those who do it
is greater than that.We are taught that blessings come to us when we
give freely of ourselves. We give because the Lord promises untold blessings
shall be given to us. I count as many, one of those blessings is to releave the
tax burden we pay at the end of the year.I wonder how many of you
recognize that an individual in the middle class pays anywhere from 10-20
percent of their annual income in taxes to the Government. Additionally they
pay about 5-10 percent in state taxes on top of that. This doesn't count the
amount paid into Social Security and Medicare of which there is no deduction.
Overall most citizens are paying from 15-30% of all income in taxes. These
leaves the individual anywhere from 65-85% to spend their own money. However,
every time they go to the store they pay a sales tax which is from 4-8% of what
they buy. They pay taxes for gasoline, cigarettes, alcohol and other items.
They must also pay property taxes for their homes.
Take all of that into consideration and we end up being taxed on 50% of our
income nationally. Add in many's charitable contributions and you can see our
money basically disappears. You take away this tax break and overall the
charitiable contributions across the country will decrease drastically. This
means now all of the funding must come through the government. So how do they
resolve this problem, increase our Federal Income Tax to what the charitiable
contributions would have been. Now all the giving is intangilled in Red tape and
the govenment decides who gets what and when. United Way, the American Red
Cross, American Cancer Society and others would all of a sudden CEASE to exist.
Is that really what you liberals want to get rid of. If so, then see how the
rest of the world does and the United States will be a third would country.
Re: atl134Is it a handout to receive a tax deduction? It's only a
handout if you don't view your money as your money.Here's what Elder
Oaks said about this issue (you say "handout", he says "tax
expenditure" - it's the same thing): "Some economists and other
scholars contend that this is, in effect, a tax expenditure because tax revenues
are reduced by the benefit granted. In other words, because the government could
have denied the charitable deduction there is a government expenditure in its
granting the deduction and forgoing the revenue. By that reasoning the personal
income we think is ours is really the governments because of its choice not to
take it away by taxation. That is surely an attitude not shared by most
@Clark Kent - I merely mentioned LDS since this forum is naturally aimed that
direction. Certainly there will be others who follow their convictions and
continue to pay to churches or charities, but I seriously doubt the numbers will
keep up if the deduction is done away with. Many many people look to this
deduction as a way to decrease their taxable income, those are the people who
will stop giving.
I will still give if the tax deduction is removed, but I can promise you that as
a family at the end of the year, we give more because of the deduction - it is
built into our budget.So yes, we should donate, and do it out of the
goodness of our hearts, but the exact amount to give is often determined by
using simple accounting, and removing the deductions means changing the amount I
would give. The math is easy to follow, not sure why so many people on here
attack a straw man argument on the topic.
@atl134 and @ClarkKentDo a little research...there is a difference
between a tax DEDUCTION and a tax CREDIT. A DEDUCTION (unlike the CREDIT) does
not result in a "handout" - charitable contributions reduce taxable
income, meaning that your tax payment is reduced. It is lumped with other
DEDUCTIONS such as your home mortgage interest, certain other taxes paid,
certain employee expenses, possibly some medical expenses, etc.Again, it boils down to who gets to use other people's money to re-distribute.
IN approximately 100% of the cases I am aware of, charitable organizations are
more efficient AND more effective than the federal government at this.Of course, if you are one of those who do not make charitable contributions
and who rely more on the assistance (redistribution) of the gov't, then I can
see why you have the viewpoint that you do.
@Jared"Is it a handout to receive a tax deduction? It's only a
handout if you don't view your money as your money."Does your
tax deduction increase the deficit? Yes. Therefore... it's a handout, just a
different type of handout than being given welfare (one is you getting money
from the gov't in the form of lower taxes, the other is you getting money in the
form of some sort of service/money... both have the same affect on the deficit).
I think Madden hit the nail on the head. Earlier there were people stating that
we should give without reward (we should but we also need to acknowledge that
everything we do has some sort of reward - that's just not the best reason to
give). If someone pays tithing, for example, and receives 30% back in tax
deductions, then couldn't that person just give that extra money to the church
or some other charitable organization? That's the purpose of tax deductions for
charitable giving - they encourage giving recursively. NGOs and NPOs are usually
more efficient than the government. We might or might not like what a government
is doing with our money but with charities we can make sure money goes to causes
we really support - whatever those causes are.The point of Elder
Oaks' testimony is that America is unique in part because of its history of
giving (something most other countries do not have, at least not to the extent
of the U.S.; this is true even for countries with lower tax burdens than the
U.S.) The extent of our private giving is unique in the world.
Deduction or not, I'll still pay my tithing.I don't do it for the
tax deduction.I do it for blessings.That is the test.That is
the sacrifce.I see it as putting some feet to the refiners fire.Sifting the wheat from the tares.Those who love their money more
than God wil stop paying their 10%.Press on.
I will continue to pay tithing no matter what. My problem is the fact that they
want to get rid of the charitable giving deduction but not tax the richest
members of society. Warren Buffet has more money than most of us combined and
even he sees a problem with the taxation rules for the richest members of
society. How about we tax everyone equally, get rid of the huge tax breaks for
companies that are increasing their profits every quarter, and level out this
wonderful economy we live in?
Every charitable organization, even those that do a poor job, do a better job
helping the poor and needy than the government does. Most people I know don't
mind helping the helpless but they do mind helping the clueless.
Kami: "By allowing a tax deduction for charitable giving, every citizen in
this country is being FORCED to support the charities that people are receiving
a tax deduction for. That is what is wrong, to me, about the whole aspect of
giving the tax deduction. I don't want to have to support the charities my
neighbor chooses to deduct, not do I want my neighbor to be forced to support
mine." Your statement shows the basic problem with liberal
thinking: they presume that our money really belongs to the government and the
government does better at deciding who should benefit from that money. Anything
we get back in the form of a tax deduction is seen as a gift from the government
rather than the return of something that is rightfully ours. The
deduction for charitable giving is simply recognition that society benefits from
our giving. You would rather have the government decide who gets my tax
dollars. To me that is where force comes in. I think individuals should decide
where they want to donate, even if it isn't a cause I support. Besides, the
government already gives to many organizations I don't agree with.
Religion aside, many people pay charitable contributions based on how much they
can AFFORD to give. Tax deductions are part of this equation. You take away
tax deductions and watch as charitable contributions take a sharp 15-20%
decline, which has nothing to do with where their heart is or their intentions -
rather it affects the ability to donate. I would much rather see
more money in the hands of charities than the Government sticking their dirty
hands in that money to make "more enlightened" decisions on how that
money should be spent. Why would we take that additional incentive
away from making donations?
@KamiYour logic is laughable. You say that people shouldn't donate
just because of a deduction and you donate only in faith and out of the goodness
of your heart. I doubt that very much. You receive many things for being
charitable and that is driving force behind it, you expect to receive blessings
and eternal gifts for such acts, as is indicated by you and many others who
oppose the dedeuction. I have provided Christmas for children whose
parents or more often single parent cannot provide a single gift. I received a
deduction for the donation of gifts to these families. I am not wealthy, so I
do what I can. However, if I had not had the deductions, I would not have been
able to provide all the children did, I would have been forced to donate less.
This is the case with anyone who would like to donate to charities. This
results in less funding for charities to do their work, placing the burden on
the government when private charities are compromised. Bad idea!
I'm all for changing the laws to require tax-exempt organizations to prove where
their tax-exempt income is actually going! Is it really going to charity, or is
it being diverted to for-profit enterprises? Right now, religious organizations
don't have to prove anything about how their tax-exempt dollars are being spent.
We are still on Bush's tax plan. Obama has not raise anybody's income tax. Not
one person pays a higher percentage of tax than they did under Bush, unless
their income went up.Before you guys comment about Obama, you should
really do some homework.
@NT"Do a little research...there is a difference between a tax
DEDUCTION and a tax CREDIT. A DEDUCTION (unlike the CREDIT) does not result in a
"handout" - charitable contributions reduce taxable income, meaning
that your tax payment is reduced."I am aware of the difference
but it does not change the overriding issue to me which is that tax deductions
and tax credits both reduce gov't revenue due to directing federal dollars to go
to you so you can subsidize something. Tax deductions, tax credits, and gov't
spending on things like welfare all increase the deficit. @sherriffcraig"Religion aside, many people pay charitable
contributions based on how much they can AFFORD to give. Tax deductions are part
of this equation. You take away tax deductions and watch as charitable
contributions take a sharp 15-20% decline, which has nothing to do with where
their heart is or their intentions - rather it affects the ability to donate.
"That is true, at least to some extent (I don't think most
middle class families calculate donation money based on what they expect to get
from the gov't via the deduction, but at the top they're more likely to).
It's a real scream to read some of these posts and and think that these are part
of the voting public. Scary! Most want to lay this idea on Obama and his crew.
If you read the whole article, or researched it in any way, you would find out
that this proposal was advocated by Rep. Cantor, one of the leaders in the House
from Virginia, and funny funny thing, he and the other proponent are both--get
ready for this...do I see the symbols ready to clash...Republican big wigs. Oh,
churches and charitable donations existed long before this country had any
income tax, let alone any income tax charitable deduction. if the government
does away with this deduction, the charitable giving will survive and continue.
those who gave out of genuine charity will continue to give out of genuine
@VegasBartYour premise that principles must be tied to politics is
Oaks made a definitive statement to the nearly empty room. (Of the 24 members
of the Senate Committee, only six bothered to attend at all, and none stayed the
full two hours. Shameful representation of the people if you ask me.)Oaks
explained at one point that the money earned and donated by the people belonged
to them, not the government. He chided Washington for believing earned money
belongs to the government and that a deduction was a benevolent act by our
re: Lane MyerPerhaps if I gave an example. This of course assumes
you also budget. Suppose I have income of $50,000 and a family of 6 to support.
I give 10% tithing and an additional 1% alms (fast offering, educational fund,
whatever) because I feel morally and religiously inclined to do that regardless
of how much money I have. Suppose we assume that the rest of my income is
required for family necessities (we won't dicker over defining necessity vs
discretionary-because if you have discretionary income, I agree with your
point). So at the end of the day, if I receive a tax return because of the
deductibility of my 11%, I will have additional discretionary income from my tax
return that I will then have to donate to other causes. Make sense?
Here isa thought, to save money, why don't we get out of our un-necessary wars,
instead of betting Iraq if we can stay.
I do want to make one thing clear after my other posts is that I do support
keeping the charitable deductions in place. I just think a spade should be
called a spade and that a tax deduction is like a tax expenditure; both are ways
of gov't subsidizing something by not collecting the normal tax rate on income
one way or another and that both of these, as well as gov't spending on welfare,
all increase the deficit in exchange for providing a service/benefit for
charitable-type purposes. That doesn't mean it's bad... at least not to me it
isn't.@Wiley old school"Getting a refund for
over-estimating your withholding during the year is NOT asking the government to
"give money back.""Explicitly invoking a tax
deduction or tax credit is asking the gov't to give you money back.@hawkeye"What you fail to take into account is that these
organizations are lightening the burdens placed on the government. "Sometimes. For instance, let's say money donated to the LDS church is
marked for deductions. Fast offerings, humanitarian aid, church welfare... helps
the gov't. But tithing money for construction of churches is not a gov't burden.
This is a business matter and not a charitable matter for the mormons. If the
revenue dries up how will the mll or any other ventures be supported? I can
imagine how they would be concerned with their current business model.
$13 million for Katrina? Is this the best he has? So that is around one dollar
per member, not impressive with the amount of money the mormons roll in. I tend
to agree with others that the mormons open there books to the public as most
legitimate religions do. What is there to be scared of?
No atl134, they're not the same thing. Tax deductions reduce government
revenues. Tax credits increase government expenses. There's a significant
difference. Ask your local CPA if you don't understand.
Funny how so many like Kami, True Blue, interpret to their own design. Elder
Oaks acknowledged that charitable donations help provide millions of jobs,
affect education, social programs, etc.---none of which have anything to do with
tithing in the LDS church. The issue is not tithing, it is that
Americans be allowed to give to charities of their own will, not be forced to
give the money to government to redistribute to its will. The nature of our
country would be changed dramatically if charitable deductions are cut or
eliminated.King, I mean President Obama wants all our money and he
will decide how it is spent...I say an emphatic no to that.
Private charities like hannity's Freedom Foundation that collected millions for
the children of soldiers and then spent the money on consultants and Gulfstream5
jets for hannity and his family?Or even "more" legit
charities that BRAG, brag mind you that 80% of your donation will get to the
country where that cute little kid is. (note how carefull they were to say to
the country, not the kid) And I have to say that I'm dissapointed
that the opening line said it wasn't a religious or political issuse and then
the rest of the argumant was religious and political.I really better
not hear a church leader supporting raising tax revenues when a republican is
president because "debt is bad".
I should note that since Pres. Obama is traveling about on a Canadian made bus,
paid for with tax dollars, talking about his efforts to increase jobs in
America...since he is actually campaigning for re-election concurrentlly, a cut
in charitable donations would go directly to paying for his campaign for a
second term in office, by paying for the buses and who knows what else.It does not matter who initially thought of cutting the deductions for
charitable donations, it really matters who is pushing that idea now, and it
appears to be the President.
I am amazed to read all the responses that call this a tax by Obama and the far
reaching theories of how charitable donations will be impacted. Fact it is not
a tax but the elimination of a tax loop-hole and no it doesn't mean the charity
will get less of the donated amount, the donated amount is still the amount.
Charities properly registered are still able to collect donations at full value.
Or to claim "studies" say liberal donate less is a very far-fetched
bold face lie. To rant & rave about untrue facts does not make them anymore
true.To say if you don't get a deduction you might not donate says a
lot about the person.
Re Dray, your agument sort of sounds like the financial arm of the mormon
church. I just hope oaks or the mormons do not turn charitable giving in the
opposite direction...The mormon church is a bad example to use with charitable
giving and the distributions of those funds to those who need it--it is big
business and should not be used as an example to those who truly distribute and
@DRayLet me ask you guys complaining about Obama's bus a question.
Were you also opposed to President Bush traveling around in the EXACT kind of
bus while campaigning for his second term in office by simply yelling
"Iraq" and "terrorists?" Were you okay with President Bush
(and all previous presidents back to Presient Kennedy) using Air Force One to
travel as they deem necessary or is it only with Presidents Obama, Clinton,
Johnson, or Kennedy? Are you aware the the Secret Service and not
President Obama bought that bus - as well as President Bush's former bus?The partisan sniping from you guys is getting old.
There is much abuse of the tax-exemption laws in this country. Many
organizations use "charitable" status as a front for what amounts to
fraud, for which they receive tax benefits. In my opinion, most religions are
exactly that kind of organization.But there are legitimate
charitable organizations that do provide benefit to society at large. The LDS
Church may or may not be such an organization - it is probably a mixture,
providing some benefit in some areas, but hiding behind the
"charitable" label to amass huge amounts of corporate wealth. I have
my opinions on that.What I will say, however, is that Oaks is
correct in principle: pluralism is good. Charitable organizations are a
legitimate component of our pluralistic society and economy, without which our
American way of life and values would be less resilient, less responsive, and
more impoverished.We definitely need tax code reform, and a
tightening of the tax-exempt/tax-deductible policies are in order. At very
least, charitable organizations should be required by law to open their books
and reveal their financial statements to the public or else forego the tax
Kami, why not take the extra money you save on your deduction and give it to the
church or some other charity where you know 100% will go directly to those in
need, whereas if given to the government in the form of taxes, only about 20 to
25 cents on the dollar ends up in the hands of those the money was intended for
(i.e. it takes approximately 75 cents of every dollar taken in to administer
food stamps, one dollar donated as a fast offering goes 100% directly to feed
the hungry). Seems to me we have the responsibility of wise stewardship over
our money. It is noble that you don't want something in return for your
donation. Isn't it more noble to make sure as much gets to the hands of those
in need, not eaten up by a government bureaucracy?
I am truly astounded at the number of posts which advocate turning over all to
the government for the expansion and maintenance of the nanny state and lump
all charitable organizations into one fraudulent entity. Then there are those
who posit that tax exemptions are nothing but a government handout and a major
source of the nations debt. Anyone who has a rudimentary knowledge of civics
knows perfectly well that the whole nanny state is another name for socialism.
As far as tax exemptions causing the nations debt? The money is not the states
money that the state graciously allows me to use; it is mine, I worked hard for
it and I posit that I should be the one to decide where it goes-not the state.
I am not in favor of an increased amount of extortion so that Big Brother can
have more money to play monopoly with. Furthermore, legitimate charities
accomplish far more with far fewer funds and do a superior job.
The choice is simple. It is between the people becoming charitable and rise to a
higher nature. The alternative is to not have charity and become an animal.
There are some who want power so much that they not only become an animal. They
force the people to lose charity to and figuratively grow fangs like an
animal.If the government takes over then it can control more then the
1/7th that is in medicine. They can push good people out of the way so that they
can control charity the way they want for their and their friends benefit. Not
the people.Are these people American?
Lots of people inculde tithing and other deductions when preparing their taxes
only to find out that their deductions aren't as high as the standard deduction
is anyway. Even if their tithing does put them over the top, usually it isn't
much. I think the kind of deductions charitible organizations are most concerned
about are the large ones made by the very wealthy and which do a huge amount of
good. If a person gives "$50,000 dollars to the scholarship fund of a
college could the government really make more efficient use of it? If someone
donates $100,000 to the LDS church humanitarian fund, would the federal
government actually make better use of it. If a person donates $230,000 (the
amount of taxpayer dollars that was spent on the Obama family vacation in
Africa) to help starving children in Africa, should he be taxed on it?
If charitable gifts are given with the caveat of ideology, are they still
I see Elder Oaks saying charitable deductions are a to-be-cherished thread of
what we have become as a nation, that he should say the nature and future of our
country would be affected if we abandon these deductions.I
appreciate his noting America has a uniqueness attached to the deductions. Do
other countries not have charitable donations? Or is he referring to something
else? I do wish we would wash away most every other -- maybe every
other -- deduction there is. If we were to get rid of charitable donations,
though, I think we would have to look long and hard at the affect on charitable
organizations (not from small contributors, who often do their giving without
regard to whether they will get a deduction, but from the big philanthropist
donators). We do not want to much weaken our charitable network. It is vital to
our society and should be protected.
First: the evil of SOCIALISM is that it burdens the individual to the limit
where one CANNOT practise charity. The society robs that from the people! AND,
that is the real issue in this debate.Second: the Federal goverment
and FEMA could not handle this effectively and passionately, as would charitable
C'mon... I've seen so many mindless, reaction-based comments, ignoring
mathematical sensibilities. Elder Oaks's point is spot on. Look
honestly. Removing the tax reduction on charitable giving will have an impact on
charitable giving. NOT BECAUSE YOU GIVE TO CHARITY TO GET A TAX BREAK, but
because if you don't get the tax break, less money is available. If
there's less money, less goes to charity. Stop pretending that this is about the
tax break. It's about you having more means to contribute to the causes that you
care about. If you give nothing to charity now, you'll give nothing
to charity afterwards, and really shouldn't have a say in this at all. Our
country's generosity hinges upon the money it has--not upon some mythical amount
of money that "feels good" regardless of one's income. The
direct result of repealing this, from the government side, is to limit the funds
going to charities--which imo is a sign that the government thinks too highly of
itself, and too little of the amazing amount of philanthropic good that the
country does of its own free will. Robbing charities, robs the
American people the propensity to do good.
We need to balance the budget, not give away money to tax loopholes.
Let's give a hand to UNIONS that got us weekends off and enough disposable
income to go on Sunday and give to churches!Naa, lets continue to go
third world. Churches in the third world have church on multiple days because
people only have 1 day off a month. But in Chile they have shrines right there
in the mine so.... very convienent really.Let's have a look at
China's charitable giving stats to see our future. Right now we need to support
THe problem with this discussion is the same with every discussion on capitol
hill. It is proposed as an all-or-nothing option. This polarization has to
end!I am all for phasing out all tax deductions - gradually - and
replacing them with a flat tax. The flat tax rates also could be phased in.
Over four years, drop all deductions by 25% per year, while instituting a 3-tier
flat tax. I would have to study exact GDP and other numbers to get the right
figures (something Cain has obviously not done on his 9-9-9 plan), but say we
start at A 15% rate with full deductions for those making under $50K ($X) and
graduate it down to 3% with no deductions at the end of 4 years. For those
making $50K to 200K (or $X to $Y), start with a 24% rate and graduate it down to
7%, and for those over $200K, start with their 35% and gradually lower it to
10%, with no deductions.No one is going to go for drastic overnight
change. Over the same time frame we should phase in campaign finance reform and
congressional term limits, to be discussed elsewhere later.
mightymite says donations to the LDS church support for-profit ventures, and
that the church should open its books.The LDS church uses tithing to
build and maintain church buildings and fund worship-related expenses (like each
ward's budget for books, stationary, electricity, etc). All other charitable
donations are given to specific causes within the church (fast offerings to
support the needy, education fund to help the poor get a good education, etc).
While not all donations to the church are given for the purpose of supporting
the poor, those that are DO go directly to that cause.The church
does own a number of for-profit entities. Taxes are paid and returns filed for
each, according to IRS guidelines.mightymite also derides the amount
of funding given by the church to assist in Katrina cleanup - $13 million. He
ignores the 3,000 tons of emergency supplies also provided by the church for the
same effort. What the church gives is coordinated with officials in charge of
the efforts, and some assistance offered is sometimes declined. The church has
given and assisted with almost every disaster recovery effort in most places in
the world for years.
@ Vanka,Glad that you DON'T see any need for separation of church
and state. Very socialistic of you.Maybe all Americans should have a
percentage of their pay automatically deducted and sent directly to the
country's official church, like they do in socialist Germany.Since
the government would be giving the donations to the churche(s), they'd have
access to the books. Right? Does that fit your view of religion?Maybe you live in the wrong country.
Some bloggers complain how much the Church is spending on downtown and claim
they have spent more doing this than their Humanitarian efforts, but fail to
recognize the 75 years of the welfare system, which would be up in the multiple
billions. I was in one stake that contributed more than $250,000 to fast
offerings and it was not considered a wealthy stake. The members donated fare
more money than they saved on the two meals during fasting. Multiple that on
average over 2600 stakes and you have a nice amount of money to help the needy
each year. The same naysayers I think have not taken the time to
tour Welfare Square and see how the Church is helping out. The Church seldom
toots its own horn, that is not Christ's way. They just go about helping
people, but those who hate the Church will use every means they can to negate
I don't think the government should be taxing citizens on money that doesn't
enrich themselves. Money given away to charities should not be taxed, because
it offsets the needs of the people who use government welfare programs. We are
already taxed for government welfare programs, but if we choose to give on our
own, they should not be double dipping on us. Furthermore, when we donate to
charity on our own, it is far more efficient that when the government does
it.I agree with Elder Oaks, and all of you that disagree with him
need to seriously consider these points.
I will continue to pay my tithing and make other donations to the Church to
build God's kingdom regardless of the outcome, but if this is taken away then
the tax deduction will mean that much less I have to spend in buying items,
which affects the economy. Multiply that by the millions of others who donate
and you will continue the recession. Congress and Obama simply do not
understand economics 101. The government uses up money and prints money, but
they do not make a wise use of money, nor do they improve the economy. DUMB
IDEAS are coming from them.
I would argue there is no better efficient use of government money than a tax
deduction for charity. Ill illustrate with rough numbers. Someones annual
income is $50K. Lets say they donate $100 to a soup kitchen. That soup kitchen
provides 100 bowls of soup (cost of soup and overhead). So now the donator
deducts $100 from their taxable income. In theory, that person now has a
$49,900 taxable income. The result is Uncle Sam can only tax that individual on
$49,900 and not $50K. Uncle Sam will lose about $25 since $50K is in the 25%
tax bracket (25% of $100=$25). So the question we ask ourselves is Could the
Federal Government run a program that provides 100 bowls of soup to the needy
for $25? NO WAY! The charity provided 100 bowls of soup with $100, no way the
Government will do it with $25. My calculations are rough and simplified, but
please cut me some slack and see my point. (see next post for more)
...Again, the charitable tax deduction encourages others to provide for those in
need that the Government WOULD OTHERWISE have to support. The Government
paperwork alone to provide 100 bowls of soup would far exceed $25, not to
mention all the Government paychecks, welfare meetings, and costs to fund
programs. Shoot, every time Congress meets the National deficit increases. So
yes, it is smart business to encourage charitable giving by allowing charitable
tax deductions and it is a way to provide handouts to those that need it and at
the same time save A LOT on potential costs to the Federal Government. If only
ALL the welfare issues were solved this way it would be cost the U.S. Government
much less. So yeah, I agree with Oaks.
Interesting discussion----one point I see missed. Disallowing a charitable tax
deduction (from my, not the Government's, earned income) takes away one of the
ways I can express my will---my choice as to what continues to exists or
not---my voice. Meaning, donating money to causes I believe are worthy of my
donation, whether it be a church, a school, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army,
or the food pantry in my locale, is supporting their ability to make a
difference in a way I agree with. Disallowing that tax deduction in effect
shuts down my voice in making a difference in my country. Altho, Elder Oaks
doesn't express his opinion in that way, in essence what we give our money to
supports it's existence. Shut that off, and you shut down my voice, my will.
Multiply that by millions of taxpayers, and it's shutting down of the voice of
All of the Pro and Con on this article: Following the constitution would
eliminate most of the problems! Those who follow the cowardly status quo fail to
answer one simple question: If I don't have the right to steal from my
neighbor, how can I delegate to my government that right! Socialists are really
good at hiding the ultimate goal of their choosing--to claim the right to do
anything they want with the money its citizens make, including the right to give
to charity. No one wants to answer this question because they do not understand
government and human nature. Government exists only to do one thing, to protect
me in my unalienable rights, including the right to do with my money what I
choose. Republicans have a justified concern with what the democrats are doing,
but instead of getting at the root, they nible around the edges, while the
democrats continue to enlarge their religion of choice--government. If you
could find me a democrat that has willing contributed to government more on
their income tax beyond what was required, I might listen one of them, if one
could be found? Any takers? Didn't think so
I see the tax deduction as net neutral or net positive when it comes to fiscal
matters. Dollars spent in the non-profit sector instead of government tax
dollars are good for everyone. Government is the most expense source to provide
for needs. Non-profits do it more efficiently and more equitably.
I don't have time to read through all the comments so forgive me if this has
already mentioned. Can you imagine what would have happened during Katrina if
we would have had to rely solely on the goverment and the monies they put aside
to help with these disasters? It will be a sad day when we no longer have
charities to help during these times because of goverment taxes....people only
have so much money in their pocket, decide who you want to oversee it, goverment
or the numerous charities that do good work....I know my choice, but the one
thing I no for sure is there isn't enough to give to both.
But if these charities do not exist the Federal Governments welfare role
increases which would most likely result in a higher tax for everyone. So now
MORE of your money is taken from you not allowing you to express your will in
how that money is spent.I mean is there ever a Government program
that the common person is actually able to choose? Did any of us choose the
Stimulus Packages? OK if you say yes, did we choose how those funds were
allocated? Because it certainly did not go to the guy who needed the bowl of
soup. Yes, philosophically we chose the politicians, but that is when they
promised the world. At least with tax deductions we know the money is used to
support funding non-profit/certified charities.
@ Zamok,Best analysis I've seen all day. $100 in a church's pocket
WILL do enormously more than $25 in the government's pocket. Beautiful!
GCTexas | 12:20 p.m. Oct. 19, 2011 Kingwood, TX I see the tax
deduction as net neutral or net positive when it comes to fiscal matters.
Dollars spent in the non-profit sector instead of government tax dollars are
good for everyone. Government is the most expense source to provide for needs.
Non-profits do it more efficiently and more equitably.------------Except for the VA Hospital system. It runs at a
higher rate of patient satisfaction than any other hospital system with the
latest technology and yet is cheaper than the private system. Kudos to them!
Re: WatsInitForMEVery fitting name. $100 of your money in the
church's pocket=a billion dollar mall..Know that is what I call charity...
Re MightyMite: $1 per member? How many of the members of the LDS Church are
living in 3rd world countries and struggling to make it in their lives? The LDS
Church is helping take care of people in every country their presence is found.
There are more members of the LDS Church outside of the US than in the US. Find
me another single group that donated $13 million to Katrina victims.
What can irritate people is paying taxes to fund things you do not support. I
get this to a certain degree, but they should join the club. There are many
Government supported programs not everyone supports.Even if what is
trying to be implied that the mall was funded entirely by donated funds is true,
most LDS are still going to pay tithes because it is one of few things that can
be done which expresses commitment. Which goes back to 99% of LDS tithing
payers will pay tithing regardless of the charitable tax benefit. That was the
case before the charitable tax benefit and it would be the case again. So even though Elder Oaks addressed the issue, I doubt LDS Church
leadership is concerned about members of church not paying tithing because of
disallowing the charitable tax benefit. The concern really is towards how it
will affect other charitable organizations and the attitude of the country as a
Well despite what appears on the surface, the Mormon Church receives an enormous
income from various ventures outside of tithing donations. You can guess there
is plenty of income that can be used for non-charity focused spending generated
from these ventures. It is not illegal and none of Mormon Church leadership
have Wall street CEO severance packages provided by the Church waiting for them!
Kami et al,You're not "getting" anything in return from the
government on your charitable contributions, except a slightly lower tax rate.
They're just confiscating less of what you already own. That automatically frees
up more of what you have to give to charity, not the government. The more the
government extracts from you, the less you have to give away freely. It's that
Perhaps worse than government waste is that with too many of the charitable
organizations for every dollar donated 90 cents goes to the organization and
only 10 cents to the intented recipient.
KurtFK,Try moving to a country that has NO government, or a country
that has a different form of government that does not protect the economic forms
we enjoy here in America.The Founders never meant for there to be NO
government, and they never meant for government to be FREE (cost nothing to
citizens). That is why they gave the government the power to levy taxes to
finance its operations: operations that provide the national protections, the
unified monetary system, the common defense, and the general welfare that makes
it possible for you to earn anything at all and call it "yours".Elder Dallin Oaks explicitly decried such irresponsible attitudes as
yours when he said:"But a democratic republic needs patriotic
citizens who are fulfilling their responsibilities as well as claiming their
rights. No society is so secure that it can withstand continued demands for
increases in citizen rights without producing corresponding increases in the
fulfillment of citizen responsibilities... These three fundamentals are the
citizen responsibilities of (1) serving in the military, (2) paying taxes, and
(3) participating in democratic government."
I am generally against charitable deductions, but certainly see the value in
feeding and clothing the less fortunate.That charitable giving helps
relieve other govt programs.However, I really dont see the benefit
of tax deductions used in prosthelytzing in this country or around the world.This was a deduction that was disallowed, so changes were made in how
the money flowed to the missionaries to get around it. Basically a loophole.Hard to make a reasonable argument for that type of deduction.
The federal government should close the tax loophole. If it is all about
charity. Churches should give it all away everyday.
Federal assistance is like a blood transfusion from your right arm to your left
arm ..... through a leaky tube. The Feds can't spend money they don't take
Re: atl134 | 11:30 a.m. Oct. 18, 2011 "I didn't realize conservatives
loved gov't handouts so much"You make it sound like it's the
government's money and we should be thankful for what crumbs they throw our way.
The reason the Feds are so careless with our money is because they didn't have
to work to earn it.
Amazing how many posts I've had rejected on this subject. Seems a leader of the
church can state his opinon on the subject and that's all the discussion there
can be. You can't even sugesst that his argument is based on a flawed premise
that the bill will even hurt legitimate charity donations and not the fraudulent
ones used by some to avoid taxes.
Kami in Bountiful is correct on the attitude LDS people should have regarding
the paying of tithes and offerings. However, I believe that Elder Oaks was
looking at a larger picture than just that of members of the LDS Church. Many
in this country do donate to charity and are more likly to do so with the
incentive of tax deduction. I'm sure the LDS Church won't be hurt by an
elimanation of the deduction,(at least I hope not), but there are many worthy
charities that very likely will be.
Hey there Ernest T. Bass in Bountiful, it's off the subject, but I just have to
add that not only are we still on Bushs' tax plan, but we are still on Bushs'
war plan too. What's up with that?? At least I thought Obama would get us out
of the futile and costly attempt to nation build. Impossible in those
countries, lasting democracy will succomb to Islamic rule sooner or later. But,
Obama has even failed on that one too. 100% failure.
I M LDS2,I never meant to say we should have NO government - just that the
more the government takes from us, the less we have left to give to charity,
that's all. And the evidence clearly shows that charities are a lot more
effective at humanitarian assistance than the government is, so if I was given a
choice, I would always give to charity first. When the Law of Consecration
is fully implemented, we will be giving EVERYTHING we have to the Church, which
will deed back to us "sufficient for our needs". But for the present,
I will just have to live with the situation where my government takes about half
of what I earn, then squanders a big chunk of it.
I agree with Kami and add: "Why do most of the conservatives cry and bawl
when Federal Assistance is not sent to Utah for disaster relief or to fund
projects that are paid by the Federal Government"?People who
pay tithing for the right reason will pay the same amount of tithing without the
tax deduction. I was disappointed to see Elder Dallin Oaks testify
in Washington DC at the invitation of Orrin Hatch. Too many people will think
Elder Oaks wants them to vote for Orrin Hatch.
As an income tax propfessional in Utah I can say that people of all faiths pay
tithing in one way or another. Elder Oaks was speaking for all Chairities, not
just the LDS Church. Also, the charitable deduction is limited for people with
larger incomes, it's called Alternative Minimum Tax. Both parties are guilty in
this!!! Reduce spending and they won't have to increase our taxes!!!
To Allen#1: Did you know that if it wasn't for Harry Reid, President Monson and
Elder Oaks may not have been invited to the White House. He was able to get an
appointment with President Obama so that they could give President Obama his
family history.Does this mean that President Monson had to vote for
Harry Reid. Your login is illogical. Orin Hatch knew that Elder Oaks has a
solid legal mind and that is what he needed. He got that. It had nothing to do
with votes, besides how do you know that Elder Oaks is even Republican. He
could be a democrat and wouldn't even vote for Hatch.
I would pay my tithing irregardless of listing it on my taxes...its satans way
of trying to stop charitable donations to churches which helps all kinds of
people...how obvious ..the gov is trying to stop it so it can keep more of our
tax dollars....notice how the lds church is rarely mentioned as a church that
donates during times of crisis like katrina...we are not proud or boastful...we
do this out of the kindness of our hearts wanting to help our brothers and
sisters on this earth....
notice the lds church is rarely mentioned if at all in contributing monies and
foods to help victims of hurricanes etc...we are not proud or boastful...we only
want to help our fellow brothers and sisters...satan will use any means he can
to destroy christian organizations...and gov will do all it can to tax tax and
tax and spend...